Soy Allergy Info
A Soy Allergy, or Soya Allergy as it is called in Europe, is an abnormal response of the body to the proteins found in soy. Soybeans are classified as a legume.
Other foods in the legume family are navy, kidney, string, black, and pinto beans, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lentils, carob, licorice, and peanuts. Sensitivity to one legume can often be associated with sensitivity to another legume, which is termed cross-reactivity. If you have soy allergy, you should talk with your doctor about what other legumes you might need to avoid.
In many cases soy allergy starts with a reaction to a soy-based infant formula. Although most children outgrow soy allergy by age 3, soy allergy may persist and is becoming more common in adults.1
If you know you are allergic to soy, the only sure way to avoid an allergic reaction is to avoid soy products. Know what you’re eating and drinking. Be sure to read food labels carefully. Because soybeans and peanuts contain common allergy-causing components, you may also need to avoid peanuts. Some processed soy foods, such as soy oil or soy sauce, may not cause a reaction because processing removes certain allergy-causing proteins.
Soy milk, tofu and other soy products have become more popular because of their apparent health benefits. These products are easy to identify — and avoid. Soy may be called any of the following on a product label: 1
- Glycine max
But soy is also a common ingredient in other food products. It is used in meat products and meat substitutes, baked goods, candies, ice creams and desserts, condiments, butter substitutes, and in other foods.1,2
Table 1 list names, products and ingredients that contain, or may contain, soy.
|Products with soy as a main ingredient:||Hidden sources of soy products:|
Many fast-food restaurants commonly use soy protein in hamburger buns (soy flour) hamburger meat (soy protein) and hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP) in sauces. On their respective websites, McDonald’s and Burger King list soy flour as an ingredient in their hamburger buns.3,4 Multi-grain breads, doughnuts, doughnut mix and pancake mix commonly contain soy flour. Nearly all bread products available in the US now contain soy. Soy can now be found in nearly all types of foods, from meat to ice cream, to cheese, to french fries. Many foods are contaminated with soy due to being cooked in soy oil.
As a result, there are a long list of foods that a person with soy allergy must carefully review for the possibility of soy being included as an ingredient, or being present during preparation. Table 2 list some of the foods that may contain soy.2
|Types of Foods||Foods that may contain soy|
|Breads & Starches||
|Meat & Meat Substitutes||
|Milk & Milk Products||
|Soups & Combination Foods||
|Desserts & Sweets||
|Fats & Oils||
|Condiments & Miscellaneous||
Soy Allergy – Links
Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.
Soy Allergy Diet.
"McDonald’s USA Ingredients Listing for Popular Menu Items" Effective August 16, 2011.
Burger King Brands Inc. USA
"Burger King Nutrition and Ingredients".